Functions of melatonin in plants: a review

  title={Functions of melatonin in plants: a review},
  author={Marino Ba{\~n}{\'o}n Arnao and Josefa Hern{\'a}ndez-Ruiz},
  journal={Journal of Pineal Research},
The number of studies on melatonin in plants has increased significantly in recent years. This molecule, with a large set of functions in animals, has also shown great potential in plant physiology. This review outlines the main functions of melatonin in the physiology of higher plants. Its role as antistress agent against abiotic stressors, such as drought, salinity, low and high ambient temperatures, UV radiation and toxic chemicals, is analyzed. The latest data on their role in plant… 

Agricultural Crops

Melatonin is an indoleamine present in animals and other organisms. Its main function in animals where it acts as a hormone regulating circadian rhythms related processes is well established. It was

Melatonin and its relationship to plant hormones

Melatonin is an important modulator of gene expression related to plant hormones, e.g. in auxin carrier proteins, as well as in metabolism of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), gibberellins, cytokinins, abscisic acid and ethylene.

Prospective Role of Melatonin in Signaling and Alleviation of Stress in Plants

This chapter will provide valuable information on melatonin-mediated stress signaling and deduce its role in mitigation of abiotic and biotic stresses in plants.

Melatonin: a master regulator of plant development and stress responses.

The biosynthesis of melatonin from tryptophan is described, as well as its various degradation pathways in plants, and it is proposed that melatonin is a master regulator in plants.

Phytomelatonin, an Interesting Tool for Agricultural Crops

Plant melatonin appears to have developed a type of hormonal function, similar to that observed for other plant hormones, such as auxin, to induce growth in stems and stimulate rooting and to delay senescence by protecting photosynthetic systems and processes.

Melatonin: Current Status and Future Perspectives in Plant Science

This review has identified many new aspects where melatonin may have possible roles in plants, for example, its function in improving the storage life and quality of fruits and vegetables, its role in vascular reconnection during the grafting process and nutrient uptake from roots by modifying root architecture.

Melatonin as a Possible Natural Safener in Crops

This review raises the possible use of melatonin as a natural safener in herbicide treatments and a similar role is suggested in the co-action between fungicides and melatonin, where a synergistic response has been demonstrated in some cases.

Melatonin in Plants – Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions

Elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products.

Melatonin and Its Effects on Plant Systems

The diverse roles of melatonin in a plant system are highlighted, which could be useful in enhancing the environmental friendly crop production and ensure food safety.



Functional roles of melatonin in plants, and perspectives in nutritional and agricultural science.

Evidence indicates that melatonin has an ability to increase the production of crops and may involve the roles of melatonin in preservation of chlorophyll, promotion of photosynthesis, and stimulation of root development.

Melatonin: A potential regulator of plant growth and development?

There is no known specific role for melatonin in plant physiology, but growing information describing melatonin control of physiological processes in mammals, yeast, and bacteria, including diurnal responses, detoxification of free radicals, and environmental adaptations.

Growth conditions influence the melatonin content of tomato plants.

Melatonin in plant organs

The melatonin content of the fruits generally increased during ripening up to the mature ripe stage and thereafter as the fruit became over ripe, as it does in many animals.

Melatonin in higher plants: occurrence and possible functions

Melatonin was shown to delay flower induction in some photoperiodic plants and in the dinoflagellate Lingulodinium it replaces, in part, the requirement of darkness for cyst formation.

Chemical stress by different agents affects the melatonin content of barley roots

The data establish, for first time, that the chemical‐stress agents assayed can induce the biosynthesis of melatonin in barley roots and produce a significant increase in their melatonin content.

Lowering intercellular melatonin levels by transgenic analysis of indoleamine 2,3‐dioxygenase from rice in tomato plants

The results suggest the involvement of IDO in plant melatonin metabolism and a possible role in plant leaf development.

Phytomelatonin: Discovery, Content, and Role in Plants

Its ability to strengthen plants subjected to abiotic stress such as drought, cold, heat, salinity, chemical pollutants, herbicides, and UV radiation makes melatonin an interesting candidate for use as a natural biostimulating substance for treating field crops.

Phytomelatonin: Assisting Plants to Survive and Thrive

This review summarizes the advances that have been made in terms of the identified functions of melatonin in plants and calls for scientists to join the endeavor of clarifying the function of this phylogenetically-ancient molecule in plants, particularly in reference to the mechanisms by which melatonin mediates its multiple actions.

The Physiological Function of Melatonin in Plants

The common biosynthetic pathways shared by the auxin, indole-3-acetic, and melatonin, which suggest a possible coordinated regulation in plants, are presented.